Gamelan Tuning


panoramic photo by Jon Bellona
click for larger view

A few weeks ago, November 19th-22nd, I had an opportunity to work with Wayne Vitale from Gamelan Sekar Jaya in tuning the University of Oregon Gamelan. This was an incredible unique experience and, though there were a few repetitive tasks, really educational in both in regard to the gamelan and to the physics of sound in general. I came out of the weekend with a number of ideas to explore in future compositions.

Anyway, we spent a lot of time doing repairs to the mallets, resonators, and wood of the instruments, and, as you’re probably imagining, we accomplished the “tuning” by carefully applying angle grinders to the bronze keys and pots of the instrument.

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